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Old 04-21-2008, 05:14 PM   #31
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at least the scenery is beautiful
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Old 04-21-2008, 06:22 PM   #32
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Way to go, you two! Looking forward to a mind-expanding vicarious experience.
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Old 04-21-2008, 08:45 PM   #33
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Looks like a great trip so far (besides the mechanical let downs, but that's part of the fun ). I'll be following along and will be about a year behind you guys - trying to do this trip next year
J A Y on a 98 Suzuki DR650SE (sanDRina)

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Old 04-22-2008, 04:36 PM   #34
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Shortly after crossing the border (second time going thru the process, first time that we actually made it into the country) we noticed that our just replaced seal was still leaking. We decided to keep going towards Copan Ruinas (very close to where Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala meet) to check out some more ruins.

Within 3 weeks we had visited what we wanted to visit and made a loop to get back to the dealer in San Salvador. This loop brought us out of Honduras, back into Guatemala and then into El Salvador all in the same day (only takes about 4 hours from Copan Ruinas in Honduras).

The dealer took the bike in right away to re-install a new seal so it was back to the beach for another week. Once the repairs were done we headed straight to Nicaragua. This meant that we had to cross into Honduras a third time (this time it only took a couple of hours). Much to our frustration we noticed that the leak was still there when we arrived in Nicaragua!

I was at wits end as to what could be causing this problem. Both times right before we changed the seal the leak got to the point that we almost lost the clutch to contamination. Both times after the repairs the leak almost stopped but not quite. This got me thinking that maybe the transmission seals were also leaking (turns out they were but we only found out for certain in Colombia).

Fortunetaly, it wasn't the gushing kind of leak we had before so we decided to completely ignore it and move on with the trip. So we checked out a few sights in Nicaragua.This is the ferry to get to Isla de Ometepe...

What the island looks like from the ferry....

And once there the driving isn't too bad. Just keep your eyes open for the livestock!!

This little guy was hiding in our room...

More later...
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Old 04-22-2008, 08:06 PM   #35
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great photos!
><((((º>`•.¸¸.•´¯`•...¸><((((º>`• .¸¸.•´¯`•.¸

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Old 04-23-2008, 09:38 AM   #36
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Old 04-23-2008, 04:24 PM   #37
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Today we left Otavalo, Ecuador for Banos. So as I update this ride report we are still 4 countries ahead so I’ll speed things up a bit. But before I get back to Central America I want to mention that we found out today that insurance will be mandatory for all (foreign included) vehicles in Ecuador as the 1st of may (45$ for 650cc or more, not sure how long it’s valid for). So with that little public service announcement over let’s get back to Nicaragua

In addition to visiting Isla de Ometepe in Nicaragua we also stopped by Leon and Granada. We had heard good things about both places but were a little disappointed (sorry, no pics)
While we were in Nicaragua we found out that a couple we had met previously were going to Costa Rica and more specifically to Playa del Coco. This beachside resort was not on our list of places to go but we were hoping to meet up with them so this was our first stop in Costa Rica. Turns out we did not hook up with them but we did meet another BMW owner (Costa Rican) who, it turns out, was part of a larger group doing the Nicoya Peninsula via backroads. He asked if we wanted to come along and we quickly accepted.

Other than Guatemala I had never ridden off road 2up so this little excursion was quite an eye opener. We ended up spending about 4 hours with them before doubling back. But in those 4 hours we rode on dirt, in some mud and on a beach. Basically all types if riding that, before that day, stressed me out (to be fair, I still hate mud with a passion!). Here are a couple of pics. First off, one of the group trying to navigate the beach...

And one of the bike (bringing the box was not a good idea!) with it's new friends...

After such a tough day of riding we both felt that the beast deserved to sleep in the room with us that night...

more later....
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Old 04-23-2008, 05:15 PM   #38
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I am loving this... Can't wait for more.
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Old 04-23-2008, 05:17 PM   #39
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Old 04-27-2008, 04:46 PM   #40
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First of all, thanks to everybody for the replies. We are happy you guys are enjoying the ride report so far. Let’s pick this up in Costa Rica…

The off roading in the Nicoya Peninsula was about it for Costa Rica (basically, we spent about a week in the country). So after the little adventure we headed straight to the border with Panama.

Other than spending a week in Boquete (a town near Costa Rica) enjoying the sights our time in Panama was geared towards finding the cheapest way to ship the bike to Colombia. After inquiring about shipping by sailboat from Colon to Cartegena we decided to fly instead (we went with Girag, the air cargo company). They charge 550$ regardless of the size of the bike and no preparation is required. You just drive to the airport, fill out a bit of paperwork and a couple of days later the bike is in Bogota.

We did have time while in Panama City to take a step back and reflect on the first leg of the trip. First off, this is a long trip. We expect to be away from Canada for 3 years. So the first 6 months kind of felt like a practice run. There were big questions before we left and now most of them have been answered.
Is this the right bike for going 2up around the world? - yes, as long as you know which issues to watch out for and address them before they leave you stranded
Will Marie and I have the same endurance level for riding? – yup, I have no problem keeping up with her pace (I have to admit I usually tire out before her)!
Are we going to like traveling by motorcycle as opposed to backpacking? – Oh yeah, way way better than sitting in buses. You have contact with people you otherwise wouldn’t for the simple reason that pit stops are usually in places where tourists never go. So questions always come up about what we are doing, the bike, etc. Also you get to go where you want when you want!
Do I have the riding skills to do this? – We’ll, yes and no. I don’t have the experience but I seem to have the instinct (heck, we only fell a half dozen times so far!!). It’s one thing to rack up the miles on paved roads (that you are familiar with) but driving to TDF means that every single road, every curve, every bump is completely new and unknown. You learn very quickly that you can’t afford to zone out (which I think can happen when you ride the same road everyday, to work for example).

The obligatory canal pic….

OK, lets get a little mechanical. That leak I was talking about that we repaired (twice) in El Salvador never quite went away but rather got a little worse on the way from San Salvador to Panama City. By the time we got to Bogota we both felt that we had to try one last time to solve the problem. This is were ADVrider came into play yet again. I knew from reading different threads on the issue that there are basically 4 possible causes (all of them seals). The most common cause of transmission sweat was apparently the transmission seals (2 of them). In our case, we had them replaced prior to starting the trip. On that occasion the leak caused the clutch to be contaminated, thus costing us about 2000$ to fix (most of it labor). The other possible cause is the (outer) rear main seal (the one we replaced twice in the span of a month in El Salvador). And finally, for 1100s manufactured on or after December 97 there is also an inner rear main seal. Our motorcycle was manufactured in December 97 so has the 2 seals.

So after all that research we were pretty confident that it was the inner rear main seal causing the problems (the only seal we had not yet replaced in this little saga!). So we went to the BMW dealership in Bogota and explained the problem. We also asked if we could assist in the repairs. Much to my surprise the said yes. So the next few days I spent with Edgar, the service manager for the shop and Alejandro, the mechanic. The bike getting ready for the big operation....

Here is what we found when we took the bike apart…

So the rear main seals were not the problem but rather the transmission seals (doesn’t show much on the photo but this is where the oil was coming from)……

So this is what we had to do to change the two seals……

But once the bike was back together it would idle but then suddenly die. So we hooked up the bike to the diagnostic machine which revealed nothing about the cause of the engine dying out. After a few hours of head scratching Alexandro figured out that the problem was the Hall sensor. Once that was replaced the bike ran perfectly.
The other good news is that the dealership (Autogermana) honored the guarantee for the seal replacement done in Montreal.

Photo of the gang (sorry for the glare)...

damn we were happy to get the thing started again!..

More in a bit...
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Old 04-27-2008, 04:58 PM   #41
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I'm jealous! I wish I had a wife that would to a trip like that with me.

What a wonderful experience.
5f? Is that like riding down a 90 degree cliff face into a lake of fire? I thought 4f was bad. Abdelhub

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Old 04-27-2008, 06:10 PM   #42
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Once the bike was fixed we ended up seeing some of the sights around Bogota and eventually made our way (slowly) out of the country. We're both kinda tired today so we'll go heavy on the pics and light on words. Here they are;

This is a pic of the salt cathedral near Bogota...

It's actually very big inside...

Marie taking it easy on the way to Salento in the coffee region...

Some of the scenery...

Road above the clouds on the way to Salento....

Landslide on the way to Pasto. It took us two hours to get through...

This is a church in the town of Ipiales near the border with Ecuador...

We are about to head into Peru so it may be a couple of days before we get back to the ride report. Next stop for the report will be Ecuador then we should be up to speed.
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Old 04-29-2008, 12:40 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by SimpleSimon
I'm jealous! I wish I had a wife that would to a trip like that with me.

What a wonderful experience.
I was probably more worried about how she would like sitting in the back of the bike day after day than anything else. I was worried for nothing. Sometimes I think she is more eager to get to India than I am!!

It also makes things a hell of alot easier when you´re two. There is always somebody to guard the bike when we are checking out a room, doing paperwork at the border (she always takes care of this), etc.
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Old 05-02-2008, 05:16 AM   #44
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Madison, Wisconsin and/or Panama, Panama
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Hi kids!

Safe in Madison.

South America gets way, way nicer once you get through Peru. If you spend any time in Peru, I hope you like asparagus.

(psst- Brian... Maybe you get tired before Marie because you're so old?)

The TKCs were great from Colombia to Argentina but the new set wore out fast on the flat flat flat straight flat straight roads from Cordoba (Argentina) to Tierra del Fuego. I had enough tread to do the last gravel and dirt, down and up. FYI.

When do we see Marie's shaved head? Is Brian shaving his, too? Is there no wi-fi where you are? Please update soon because I'm having serious withdrawals.
I am Charlie.
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Old 05-02-2008, 06:14 AM   #45
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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Just discovered your thread, I am hooked looking forward to more.

My other hallf and I did Mexico/Belize/Guatemala in 2005. for 3 weeks

in 07 we did for 6 weeks on 2 bikes, so as a begginer I understand the

mud roads in Guatemala I have a great appreciation of 2up, as I did it
both ways,
Has Mrs 2up learned to ride yet? How is your foot?
I too had short hair next long journey I am going to do he same shave,
she suits it not sure I will but it is easier as some days you don't get to shower. If there is anything we can do for you please ask,
Catharine (klr650) & fellow canuck
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